Reviewed: September 8, 2009
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Tales of an Extraordinary Girl, Book 1
Rating: 4 Stars
Length: 371 Pages
Disclosure: This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.
Playing with Fire is classic Showalter, who always manages to deliver an enjoyable read with plucky heroines, sexy heros and a lot of laughs. Belle Jamison drives the paranormal plot of this light urban fantasy. She's a mess - can't hold a job, hates the one she's barely holding on to, and after a bizarre encounter during a break at the coffee shop she works at, she's suddenly commanding the four elements - fire, water, earth, and air. Her life will never be the same again.
Enter the wickedly sexy Rome Masters, a man with his own secrets and definitely his own agenda. He offers to help Belle in exchange for her help with a problem of his - keeping his daughter off the radar of the same groups out to get Belle.
The plot is interesting and Playing with Fire would be a great book to start a series, because Belle is definitely an appealing heroine with a heck of a heart, and the secondary characters and agency that Rome works for hold a lot of potential for future development. I know that there's a sequel, Twice as Hot, and I can't wait to read it. I hope Showalter keeps going with this one. There were some issues I had with Playing with Fire - I thought the development of the romance was a little odd and forced at the beginning, but it evened out about halfway through. I thought that Belle's reaction to some of the darker results of her power were oddly lacking in emotional repercussions. Still, Playing with Fire is a fun romp and I enjoyed it.
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